"You are a Free Amazon, mestra?" He used the common, and rather offensive, term; but she did not hold it against him. Many knew no other name.
"I am," she said, "but we would rather say: I am of the oath-bound--" The word she used was Comhi-Letzis--"A Renunciate of the Sisterhood of Freed Women."
"May I ask--without giving offense--why the name Renunciate, mestra?"
Actually, Kindra welcomed a chance to explain. "Because, sir, in return for our freedom as women of the Guild, we swear an oath renouncing those privileges that we might have by choosing to belong to some man. If we renounce the disabilities of being property and chattel, we must renounce, also, whatever benefits there may be; so that no man can accuse us of trying to have the best of both choices."
He said gravely, "That seems to me an honorable choice. I have never yet met a--a--a--Renunciate. Tell me, mestra--" His voice suddenly cracked high. "I suppose you know the slanders that are spoken of you--tell me, how does any woman have the courage to join the Guild, knowing what will be said of her?"
"I suppose," Kindra said quietly, "for some women, a time comes when they think that there are worse things than being the subject of public slanders. It was so with me."